This week we started by looking for a less active member whom we didn't know named Oscar Alvarez. We found his name because his wife isn't a member and she was being taught by the missionaries before. We also found out that he is an elder in the Priesthood, so we wanted to find him to see where they were at and why they stopped coming to church.
So when we found him he was home alone and so we just talked with him for a bit about his family and how he came to know the Gospel. He told us a story about how he was baptized eighteen years ago when he was still fourteen or sixteen, but it wasn't until after his baptism that he really gained a testimony of the church. One day after church, not long after his baptism, he was walking down the street and heard a voice that said, "You're clean." Looking around, he found himself alone and knew that the voice was that of the Spirit telling him that his baptism was indeed the ordinance that he was taught it was.
So we had a really good visit with him and before we left he asked us when we could come back to meet his son, who is also a member.
So we went back to visit them on Wednesday night and he presented us to his oldest son, Damian. He has one other son named Ezequiel, who is not a member, but is eleven years old. they have an interesting family tradition, all three of them are named Hugo for their first name and all the men in the family, all the way back to the dad's great-grandpa are named Hugo Something Alvarez.
It wasn't until that we actually met his youngest son, Ezequiel, that still needs to be baptized, but we had a really good chat with him when we did met. So we invited Ezequiel to be baptized on the twenty-fourth of August and now he is getting ready for that day. I don't I'll be here for that because I've already been in this area for four months and I think that I'll be moved in two weeks or so to a new place.
So we actually just done gone with a lesson with María Soto and the assistants to the mission president stopped by to give her a baptismal interview to see if she was ready. She passed it and is gong to get baptized . So we've actually been doing a lot of preparation for her baptism; things like making and handing out invitations as well as making the baptismal program.
(I attached the baptismal program and invitations that I made)
The hardest part of the preparations were done by the branch president. We've had problems with the water tank in the chapel for a long time and the water has become undrinkable. Well obviously we didn't want to fill up the baptismal font with nasty water and everyone is getting thirsty in the chapel , so President Baldovino, the branch president, climbed up on the roof to see what was going on with the tank. Turns out that a pigeon had fallen in the tank and died. Tasty. So he spent some time getting it all cleaned out and then decided to run bleach through the pipe system to clean everything out (I'm not sure that that was a good idea, but we'll see what happens).
we taught an interesting lesson with a man named Maxi Galván and his girlfriend Natalia Rivero. They both were born and baptized into the catholic church, but they don't believe in it. Maxi believes that after we die, we become energy (kind of like the Force) and that God can't have a physical body because that would limit Him. It was really tough to teach them because they had some many questions and they just kept jumping around from topic to topic that it made it very difficult to answer their questions really well. Elder Reynolds had the idea that we just have them write down their questions and every time we go to visit them we will answer one question from each of their lists. I really like what Maxi said though during the lesson. He was talking about the great example that Christ was and how we should try to do what He did; he then finished his his thought by saying, "Christ was a boss."
With them, we finally got it down to where they understood that in order to be happy you have to follow Christ and keep the commandments. So we invited them to follow Christ by being baptized like He was and they both said that they were already baptized in the catholic church. But they already said that they don't believe in the catholic church, so I'm not sure what they're thinking.
Yesterday there was a mission conference for all of the new elders in the mission, so Elder Reynolds went to Resistencia and I stayed in Mercedes with another Elder named Elder Otterstein, who just so happens to be from Pocatello. So we talked about some things like the Blackfoot fair and what happened in our schools. We also found a less active family that was kind of an interesting visit. We only got to speak with the son, Gaspar who is eight teen years old, but he wasn't really so interested in the scriptures or the church as he was hanging out with us. In fact, at the end of our visit he said that we were more than welcome to come back, but that it wasn't necessary to talk about the scriptures with him; we could just come and play PlayStation with him and drink juice.
We were walking down the street night when a couple of horses ran past us in the road and stopped half a block ahead of us; they were running from some dogs and once they got away they stopped and went back to eating grass. Then one of the horses stepped out into the street to move to the other side and at this same moment, a man came by on a moped and he almost hit the horse, both of them dodging each other. The man then turned around, apparently upset, and started chasing the horse on his moped yelling, "guilty! Guilty!"